Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, says that rival teams are throwing “ridiculous” numbers at the wall to see what sticks.
Formula 1 introduced its first budget cap last season, to limit the financial advantage the bigger teams had over the smaller ones in the development race.
The cap was set at $145 million, and reports have emerged this week that Red Bull and Aston Martin may have exceeded that number.
Williams have already been fined for filing their paperwork late, and the FIA have since been reviewing everyone’s expenditure to make the sure the numbers add up.
The governing body has not yet finished those calculations – they are set to do so by next week – but rumours have been gaining momentum that Red Bull may have spent as much as $155 million in 2021.
This would put them in the material breach category, leaving them at risk of being excluded from last year’s championship.
The FIA have since moved to try and weather the storm, calling the reports “unsubstantiated,” but Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, claimed that Red Bull have been under the microscope for months.
Given that the process of adding up everyone’s spending is not even finished yet, Horner is amazed that some people have come to the conclusion that the Austrian side are guilty.
“The FIA have come out and made it very clear that they haven’t even concluded their process, and they’re in their process. How can anybody make that claim? It’s ridiculous,” he told Sky Sports.
The 48-year-old suggested that the policing of the financial regulations is not as cut and dry as many might believe.
“The principle [is a valid one], yes. But you have to look at how regulations are applied,” elucidated Horner.
“We know one team has, for example, had a change of its accounting process of how it deals with heritage parts, which is different to the regulations.
“So in a year of very complicated regulations like this, there is always going to be different interpretations and that’s where the FIA have taken their time to work through this and indeed are still doing so.
“I’ve heard some ridiculous numbers being mentioned which is, again, where does that come from?”
Sergio Perez will start this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix second behind Charles Leclerc, while Max Verstappen will begin the race from down in eighth after fuel issues at the end of qualifying.